Sunday, December 30, 2012
Happy New Year from Cape Cod. :) Well actually today is only the 30th but still. Drove up to Cape Cod today which worked out since it snowed yesterday, so today was defnitely a better day for driving. Worked yesterday and had a really annoying day at work. But today everything is coated in a pretty white layer (it's the kind of snow that sticks to everything, trees, bushes, houses, ..) which made for a very scenic drive. Drove along 6A which has lots of nice small villages, salt marshes, gorgeous houses, just very pretty.
Had breakfast at Elmer's and left Danbury a little after 10am. Made it to the bed & breakfast around 2:30pm and were happily surprised to be upgraded to an even nicer room than the one we originally booked. This one also has a fireplace and a jacuzzi tub but it just much bigger in general and has a King size bed. (see picture here) Very cool.
Relaxing in the room for a bit before we head over to Chatham to have dinner at the Impudent Oyster. Ate their last time we stayed in Chatham a couple of years ago so I am looking forward to it.
Tomorrow we will have breakfast at the inn and then head up to Provincetown. Plan on having lunch at the Squealing Pig. I always enjoy walking around Provincetown so that should be fun. Our dinner reservations at the Brewster Fishhouse are not until 9pm so we will have plenty of time.
Mail Update: Wrote a letter on the drive up to: Lotte/Denmark. Owe replies to: Charles/TN, Tiffany/OK, Eunice/Malta, Kimber/Canada and Jessica/DE.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Merry Christmas everyone. :) Here is my Christmas re-cap. I hope you all had a nice holiday. I know a lot of my European friends are enjoying a relaxed day off today which makes me slightly jealous. ;) Unfortunately I am back at work today. But so far it's been a fairly ok day. I was able to get most of my staff out by 1pm on Monday, Christmas Eve. We stayed till about 3.30 I think. But that's still a lot better than normal.
Christmas Eve we stayed home and had our traditional yummy food (shrimp cocktail, veggies & dip, cheese & crackers and empanadas) and movie/TV night. Stayed up till close to 1am, had plenty of wine and a fun relaxed night.
Christmas Day we opened our gifts with Kristina, Shannon and Erik in the morning. And then headed into NYC around 11:30am. Lots of lovely gifts for me as always. :) Mike got me a Keurig K-Cup brewing system. It's one of those machines that can make individual servings of coffee, tea, hot chocolate etc. Very cool. :) Besides that I received lots of other fun stuff like a Mets t-shirt, chocolates, tea, stationary, stickers, books etc.
NYC was fun even though it was super crowded around Times Square. We decided to be touristy and went to Madame Tussaud's in Times Square. It was fun even though it's of course a little cheesy. But hey, gotta be touristy every once in a while right? :) Had a nice late lunch at a pub in Hell's Kitchen called the Brickyard. Eventually made our way back through Times Square to the parking garage to drive back to CT. Watched some more recorded shows when we got back home.
Now it's back to work but we still have our Cape Cod New Year's trip to look forward to so that's good. :) Working on Saturday but Sunday we head up to Brewster, MA. Staying there till Tuesday (1st). Looking forward to our stay at a nice cozy B&B.
Mail Update: Owe replies to: Charles/TN, Tiffany/OK, Lotte/Denmark and Jessica/DE.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Almost Christmas (what a strange week)
A week has passed and what a strange surreal week it has been. In a way it feels much much longer than just a week. To think that just a week and a few days ago everything was normal. No one around the world knew where Newtown, Connecticut was. How fast things can change.
On Thursday we attended our friend's sister's wake/memorial service. Another very surreal experience. We stood outside in a crazy long line of people (there were thousands of people there including TV crews, reporters etc.) waiting to pay our respects. We waited for an hour before we actually made it to the church which meant that the receiving hour from the family was already over but we were able to get into the church for the service as one of the last people. So we stayed for the service which was of course somber but not as emotional as it couldv'e been I think. After the service we were able to see our friend and say hello. So at least we were able to pay our respects. Some of our friends who were in line behind us weren't able to get into the church at all.
On Friday two of our other bartender friends from the restaurant had a small benefit going, giving 1/2 of their tips to their friend and his family. There was a big turnout and quite a bit of money was raised. The whole event coincided with our friend Tim's birthday so we were there for that as well. Some other friends we don't see as much as we would like to (John & Kim, Shannon, Sean) came out as well.
Saturday was Tim's surprise birthday party. His girlfriend decided to throw him a birthday party. This was all based on the fact that he never had a traditiontal kid's birthday birthday growing up. So his girlfriend went to the party store and picked up balloons, Star Wars decorations, cups, plates, a pinata, ice cream cake, silly party games and whatnot. We stayed till after midnight so it definitely was a success. :)
Today we slept in late and haven't really done too much. Went grocery shopping and picked up a few more gift cards. I wrapped everything, everything's under the tree so I am now ready in the gift giving department. :)
Later we are going out to dinner at RIzzuto's and will also stop at Stew Leonard's to pick up some food for Christmas Eve. We tried to go earlier but it was insane. The parking lot was totally full, not even one space to be had. They are open till 11pm tonight so we will just go after dinner. I am sure it will still be busy but nearly as insane as earlier.
Mail Update: Owe replies to: Charles/TN, Tiffany/OK, Lotte/Denmark and Jessica/DE.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Trying to make a slightly more upbeat post but honestly it's hard with everything going on at the moment. It's hard to get away from it. Since we are so close to it that's all you see on the local news stations, newspapers, hear on the radio etc. And I of course understand why. So many people in this area were affected and so many people are trying to cope. Mike & I know someone who lost his sister and even though we aren't super close friends it still makes you think quite a bit. When you get to know someone and see them every week, talk, joke around, and then from one moment to the next everything changes. It's all very surreal.
Obviously I am not succeeding in this more lighthearted post so far. Let's try again. Sunday we spent the day in NYC. We had tickets for the Vienna Boys Choir at Carnegie Hall (very good show by the way). Afterwards we walked around for a bit, checking out the usual New York City holiday staples like the tree at Rockefeller Center. Also walked past Radio City plus they have a really neat set-up at Bryant Park with an ice-skating rink and a little Christmas market. We had a good time and managed to forget all the craziness at least for a little while.
Now it's only one week until Christmas. I am mostly done with my shopping. Still need to wrap. Plus we still need to pick up some gift cards. We will have to do that over the next few days. On Friday it's our friend Tim's 30th birthday. We have joked that it falls on the Mayan End of the World Day. So at least he can have a great birthday and go out with a bang. :)
I will end this post here as I feel like I am just rambling and not really succeeding in making a coherent post. But wanted to at least update on our day in New York City on Sunday. So I will leave you with a link to the rest of the pictures from the city in case you haven't seen them yet on Facebook. If you want to look click here.
Mail Update: Owe replies to: Lotte/Denmark and Jessica/DE.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
It's just too close to home. You always hear about those type of events on TV. Columbine when it happened, V.T. Tech or even the more recent Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting. But I think in the back of your mind you think "No, that wouldn't happen here." and that makes you feel somehow safer. Until it happens in the next town over from you. One of the most idyllic, small, crime-free (the last homicide was 10 years ago I think) New England Connecticut towns.
The whole thing is just so surreal. I can't believe what the families are feeling. And all because one crazy person decided they had to go into an elementary school and start shooting. Who goes into an elementary school with an assault rifle? What kind of person do you have to be to do that? Obviously there was something wrong with him but I don't think I will ever be able to comprehend it.
Friday was just a very surreal day at work as the events started to unfold and more and more news came out. Danbury is not very far from Newtown so a lot of the area schools went on lock-down after the events started to become more clear. Road closures, car searches when they thought there was a second shooter at large. Everything was just happening so fast, news came out, then changed again. I still don't think they quite know what made him go to that school. At first it was said that his mother was a teacher there but now that version has been recanted. Then they said the shooter was at the school days prior to the shooting and had an argument with 4 adults but that version can't be confirmed either.
It's just so surreal. They said that everyone in the area most likely will know someone who knows someone who was affected personally. Well, unfortunately that seems to be coming true as we found out last night that the sister of one of the waiters/bartenders at one of the local restaurants we go to all the time was one of the teachers killed. It's just so sad.
I really hope that something positive will come out of this and more gun control actually goes into place. It's scary to see some of the arguments online, people wanting to put MORE guns on the street. Arm the teachers. What?? What's next? Arm the children? Come on! I don't want to get into a big political rant on here on my blog but seriously, how can you say that it's a good thing people can legally own weapons like that. What on earth does a private citizen need a gun like that for? Fine, own a gun for hunting, or even a small gun to keep at home if it makes you feel better. But those type of guns that can kill twenty people in a matter of seconds. No. Just no.
Mail Update: Since the last update letters have gone out to: Celia/MA, Nina/WA, Charles/TN and Caroline/Scotland. Also owe replies to: Jessica/DE.
Sunday, December 09, 2012
It's beginning to look a little bit like ...
... Christmas. :)
We put our tree and decorations up this past Tuesday so the house definitely looks Christmass-y inside now. If you click here you can also see a picture of my little Christmas village. I am still not a 100% in the Christmas spirit but I am slowly getting there. Looking forward to my mom's Christmas cookies that should hopefully arrive in the mail next week some time. Yumm. :)
This weekend has been pretty relaxing so far. We slept in on both days which was nice. Yesterday we stopped in at work for about 1/2 hour to take care of some things. Then we went to have a late lunch at Red Robin at the Milford CT Post Mall since we had a Groupon for it that was expiring soon. I used to really like Red Robin when I lived in Santa Barbara back in 98-99. They had one at one of the malls there (it has since closed). But I think either my tastes have changed (which is possible - I am not a big fan of any of the chain restaurants anymore, only exceptions maybe Outback and the Cheesecake Factory) or that location just wasn't very good. Also didn't help that it was in the mall and I usually try to avoid any sort of mall near Christmas time. Just not a fan of the crowds.
Today I am just staying home and relaxing I think. I have a few letters to write plus want to read a few more chapters of the book I started. Have lots of tea, maybe some gingerbread. :) And later we will catch up on some more of our recorded shows. Sounds like a nice relaxing day to me.
Mike is probably going to TKs to hang out with some friends to watch the football game. I don't think I feel like going. Will stay home and be lazy instead. :)
Mail Update: So far a letter is going out tomorrow to: Celia/MA. Also owe replies to: Nina/WA, Charles/TN and Caroline/Scotland.
Thursday, December 06, 2012
So here is a post about Ollie and his pills. We received the bloodwork results from the vet at the end of last week and it turns out that he has kidney issues (which all in all isn't that surprising for a cat who's 15 years old) But luckily it isn't too bad at the moment so they decided to put him on meds which will hopefully stabilize things and help it from getting worse. So earlier this week I went to the vet to pick up his pills. Is it sad that I thought it was so cute that his pills come in a cute little pill container with the prescription info and his name on it (just like for people)?
Well anyway, I wasn't sure how he would take to the pill giving but luckily it's been fine so far. He has to take a 1/4 pill each day and they are pretty small to begin with so it's not so bad. Plus I bought him these treats called "Pill Pockets" which you can use to hide the pill. And so far he seems to really like them and gobbles them right up. So let's hope that continues to work.
In other news we decorated our tree on Tuesday and put up all the other decorations around the house (pictures will follow). I am still not quite in the Christmas spirit I think but I imagine it will hit me sooner or later. It usually does.
Mail Update: Owe replies to: Celia/MA, Nina/WA and Caroline/Scotland.
Sunday, December 02, 2012
And it's December already. I am still not a 100% into the Christmas spirit just yet but it's still early. There is time. Haven't had any time to put up my decorations around the house yet. The tree is up but not decorated. I still have my fall deco up too which makes for a funny clash in seasonal decorations. Will have to remedy that later on today.
Yesterday we worked till about 4 and then saw "Argo" at the movies. I was really impressed with that movie (it of course makes it even better that it's based on a true story). Ben Affleck did a great job directing that movie. Afterwards we went to Two Steps for a bit.
Today we are heading out for another short-ish 2 mile hike in one of the state parks around us. Last weekend we did the Miller Trail at Kettletown State Park (see picture in my post). Today we are going to Southford Falls State Park. There is a 2-mile loop there that looks nice. Afterwards we will have lunch at the restaurant by Oxford airport again.
All my Christmas cards and mail is now done. Hopefully we can get to the post office tomorrow to get everything in the mail. Printed out all the customs forms yesterday so everything should be all set and ready to mail.
Mostly done with my Christmas shopping now. Just need a few gift cards for some people. And well actually to be fair, I haven't really bought anything (except for 1 small thing) for Mike but I do have some ideas. Just need to figure out what I want to actually get him.
Mail Update: Owe replies to: Celia/MA, Nina/WA and Caroline/Scotland.